Fear, Insecurity, Hopelessness…
Not a day goes by in the news cycle that fear isn’t in some way woven into the narrative. Scientists warn us of looming environment collapse, politicians provoke unsubstantiated fear as a way to drive personal agendas, residents fear deportation because they weren’t born in the U.S., severe storms, droughts, and fires devastate entire regions, species are going extinct en masse, a new Cold War looms, and on and on. Follow the news long enough and it would seem as though things have never been worse. Add into that your own personal challenges—difficult situations in the workplace, relationships woes, financial worries, etc.—and it’s no wonder that things can feel hopeless at times.
Feeling small against this backdrop and succumbing to a feeling of hopelessness is an understandable response. Apathy may set in as a way to cope with what may otherwise feel overwhelming and insurmountable. Perhaps if we distract ourselves long enough others will make things better, and then we can come out when everything is good in the world again. I’ve seen this kind of behavior often over the years, and I’ve even been guilty of it myself. It’s no way to live.
That’s not me. I’m a positive person, and I don’t think that way.
No matter how positive, powerful, successful, or perfect you think of yourself or your life as being, we all can and most do from time to time succumb to a victim mindset. Perhaps you don’t even recognize it. It can appear subtly in the form of thoughts such as, “this is hopeless,” “I give up,” or “it makes me feel angry (or frustrated, disappointed, sad, etc.)”. In moments like these, we shift responsibility for our wellbeing and behavior to something or someone outside of ourselves. It’s convenient to externalize blame because then we don’t have to expend energy doing anything about it.
I’ve never thought of myself as a victim.
Broaden your thinking around what a victim is. If you’re not taking responsibility for your own actions (including inaction), thoughts, or feelings, then you may be playing the role of a victim and unnecessarily relinquishing control. It might be short-lived or a deeply internalized way of living, and a conscious or unconscious behavior. Ultimately, the world around you is colored by the world within you, and as such, you create your own reality. The moment you understand that—that how you experience life and how you live your life is ultimately and completely up to you—you begin to regain your power.
When you’re feeling stuck and negative in any area of your life, how do you perceive things and how do you behave? How draining is it? How productive are you?
By raising your conscious around how and why you experiencing your life as you do and recognizing that you have a choice in the matter, you can decide if you’re content with things as they are, or if you want to shift something. What might some benefits be of shifting your perspective in a positive way?
You’re in control of your experience. What reality will you create?